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Best Small Theater Company 

Shotgun Players

Depending on the stage setup for any given show, Shotgun isn't that much smaller than the Aurora; it's also got its own space, and it's just about as old. But operating on a smaller budget and retaining the scrappy spirit of its long nomadic years, Shotgun remains distinguished by an eclectic and ambitious mix of selections that the company pulls off remarkably well. Last year brought South Berkeley intriguing takes on Shaw and Shakespeare, the odd semi-historical musical Vera Wilde, and the raucous and challenging original adaptations Ubu for President and Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage. Only two shows into its 2009 season, Shotgun has already taken on the heady stuff of David Hare's drama Skylight and Mark Jackson's sparkling adaptation of Goethe's Faust and goes on thinking big with the upcoming world premieres of Jon Tracy's Animal Farm adaptation The Farm and Marcus Gardley's Rosie the Riveter musical This World in a Woman's Hands, and a season-closing production of Brecht's The Threepenny Opera. The only thing better than Shotgun Players' intrepid attitude of always trying new things is seeing how well they pull them off.

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